Flying with just carry-on is the most convenient way to travel, right?
Well, if you’re going away for any length of time, you’ll need travel-sized bottles for your toiletries.
Good quality reusable bottles are the more economical and environmentally friendly alternative.
I’ve made a list of the best travel toiletry bottles for 2020 to narrow your search, and shared some handy tips on how to choose and how to pack light!
- TOP 12 Best Travel Toiletry Bottles 2020
- Sea to Summit Clear Zip Top Pouch with Bottles
- Lingito Travel Bottles
- Humangear GoToob 3-Pack Travel Bottle
- Vumos Large Leak-proof Travel Bottles
- LiquiSnugs Leak Proof Silicone Travel Bottles
- Natural Way Organics Travel Bottles
- Pitotubes Glass Carry On Cosmetics Kit
- Alink Travel Size Toiletry Bottles
- Globe Gear Travel Bottles and Toiletry Bag
- Bariho Cream Jars
- Taste Drink Go Cosmetic Containers
- Matador FlatPak Soap Bar Case
- Choosing the Best Travel Toiletry Bottles
- Have you Considered Shampoo Bars?
TOP 12 Best Travel Toiletry Bottles 2020
Sea to Summit Clear Zip Top Pouch with Bottles
Review: Sea to Summit make some of the best quality travel accessories that always manage to be well thought out, lightweight and very durable. This TSA approved zippered pouch and bottle kit is no exception.
It is exactly 1 quart in volume with three 1 fl. Oz. bottles and three 1.3 fl. Oz. bottles.
The bag has a durable YKK zipper and welded seams to make it leak-proof, and the bottles themselves are also leak-proof.
- Lightweight but durable.
- Little plastic inserts in the tops prevent too much liquid from coming out all at once.
- Leak-proof bottles come in a leak-proof TSA approved bag.
- Thicker liquids like creams are harder to get out of the bottle.
Lingito Travel Bottles
Review: Lingito’s travel bottles come in a close second after Sea to Summit’s. They are reasonably durable, very lightweight, and have a few well thought-out features that make them easy to use.
The four 2 oz. silicone bottles are squeezable with secure flip-top lids with a small hole to make sure you don’t squeeze out too much. But, they screw off to reveal a wide opening for refilling or scooping the last drop out with your finger.
They are also clear so you can easily see what’s inside and how much is left.
This pack also comes with two 1 oz. pots with screw top lids for smaller amounts of cream that wouldn’t be suited to a squeezy bottle.
- Leak-proof flip top lids.
- 4 x Squeezable silicone bottles.
- 2 x screw top pots for creams.
- BPA free.
- Doesn’t come with a bag.
Humangear GoToob 3-Pack Travel Bottle
Review: Humangear make the original silicone travel bottles. They are soft but rugged so you can squeeze out your liquids without worrying about them cracking.
This pack comes with three 3 fl. Oz. bottles that are translucent and each a different color, but there are also 1.2 and 2 fl. Oz. sizes available.
The wide opening screw-off top makes refilling easy and there is even a little flat patch so you can label the contents.
- Have suction cups to stick to the shower wall so you don’t have to put them on the ground.
- BFA free.
- All dishwasher safe except for the cap.
- The tops have a no-drip valve that are leak-proof and control how much you squeeze out.
- If using a thinner liquid, you might be forced to squeeze out more than you intend.
Vumos Large Leak-proof Travel Bottles
Review: This pack of four 3.3 fl. Oz. silicone bottles comes in a TSA approved EVA bag, giving you the maximum sized bottles you can get away with in your carry-on.
The bottles even have handy little holes in the tops so you can hook them up in the shower, and come with little labels to identify what’s in each one.
- Four different colored lids with labels for telling them apart.
- Triple barrier flip tops are leak-proof.
- Soft silicone is durable and easy to squeeze out every last drop.
- Silicone bottles aren’t compatible for use with silicone-based products like some shampoos.
LiquiSnugs Leak Proof Silicone Travel Bottles
Review: This three-pack of silicone squeezable bottles are completely leak-proof with dripless valves.
They also have suction pads to stick to the shower wall, wide mouths for refilling and come with five interchangeable labels inside the lid.
They are well-priced, top-rated and come with all of the features you’d look for in travel bottles.
- Pack of three includes two 3 oz. and one 2 oz. bottles.
- Leak-proof tops with non-drip squeeze valve.
- Squeezable silicone bottles with suction pads.
- Not suitable for straight oils, silicone or alcohol based liquids.
- Liquids come out quickly through the valve.
Natural Way Organics Travel Bottles
Review: These heavy-duty BPA-free plastic bottles provide a plastic alternative to the silicone bottles that won’t blend well with silicone-based personal care products.
This pack comes with six 2 oz. clear plastic bottles with white snap top lids. They’re nothing fancy, but maybe their simplicity is what will attract you.
- Affordable for a six-pack.
- A good option for silicone-based products.
- Polypropylene snap-top lids are leak-proof.
- A neutral option if you don’t love the colored options.
- No bag included.
- Hard plastic may be tricky to get thick liquids out.
Pitotubes Glass Carry On Cosmetics Kit
Review: These bottles make a stylish and healthy glass alternative to silicone or plastic. They are made of tough, shatterproof glass. So, provided you don’t have tight weight restrictions, you can transfer your cosmetics to these tubes knowing that no harmful chemicals will be heading your way.
This is also one of the few travel kits that includes a spray pump for non-aerosol spray products.
- Non-toxic glass is always the safest option for housing any food or personal care products.
- Set comes with 16 waterproof labels.
- Interchangeable spray and piston return caps.
- Comes in a zippered, TSA approved clear bag.
- Definitely on the expensive side.
Review: This is another set of travel bottles that is ideal for the variety of different container types it offers.
The set contains six bottles and six pots of different sizes and top types to suit all kinds of products.
It even comes with two funnels and a spatula for easy refilling and the different tops are interchangeable in case you prefer to have a certain kind of product in a different bottle.
And last but not least, the set comes with a TSA approved clear zippered bag.
- BPA-free PET.
- Different lids include flip tops, pump action and spray.
- Three different sized cream jars.
- Easy to wash and refill.
- Non-silicone so suitable for all products.
- Hard plastic is a little difficult to squeeze on the smaller bottles – you’re probably safer to shake instead.
Globe Gear Travel Bottles and Toiletry Bag
Review: These durable plastic bottles are another good alternative to all of the silicone kits on the market.
They come in a clear TSA approved bag and include 2 funnels and a spatula for convenient refilling.
The 4 bottles include 2 flip-top lids, a spray nozzle and pump action top, and there is even a soft squeezable tube as well.
- 4 bottles with different lids.
- BPA-free PET-1 plastic is compatible with silicone-based products.
- Comes with a set of 18 labels.
- For this price and quality, there’s not much to fault with this kit. As with anything plastic, it won’t last forever. But you should be able to get a good number of uses out of it.
Bariho Cream Jars
Review: These convenient little cream jars are ideal for carrying slightly smaller volumes of thicker liquids like face cream.
This pack comes with three 0.7 fl. Oz. silicone pots with plastic lids, and two 0.35 fl. Oz. hard plastic pots with screw-top lids. They can be used for non-liquids as well such as earrings or earplugs.
- Easy to clean.
- Leak-proof plastic lids.
- Different colors and sizes.
- The silicone pots aren’t air tight so creams might eventually dry out a little.
- Oils like coconut oil will leak.
Taste Drink Go Cosmetic Containers
Review: These neat little silicone pots are ideal for carrying small amounts of creams and non-liquid personal items like pills or earplugs.
They eliminate the hassle of struggling to reach the last little bit of lotion at the bottom of a bottle, and they allow for even smaller, convenient amounts to be packed.
They come in three sizes, the smallest have snap-on silicone lids while the medium and large have screw-top plastic lids.
- Dishwasher safe silicone.
- Three sizes available 10ml, 20ml, and 30ml.
- Ideal for smaller amounts of gels and creams.
- The perfect size for short weekend trips.
- Not suitable for really runny liquids.
- Not clear so you can’t see what’s inside.
Matador FlatPak Soap Bar Case
Review: For those who travel with solid soap bars and shampoo bars instead of liquids, this soap case is ideal. It is perfectly suited to minimalist travelers, but it also looks after your soap really well.
The fabric keeps the soap contained while letting it dry out so that it doesn’t go slimy and dissolve before you get a chance to use it.
- Made of durable Cordura which is waterproof but breathable.
- Roll-top with buckle closure.
- Allows the soap bar to dry out to prolong its life.
- A little pricey for a soap bag.
Choosing the Best Travel Toiletry Bottles
The great thing about buying reusable travel-sized bottles is that you are saving the landfills and maybe even the oceans from excess plastic waste.
You can buy your full-sized bottles of shampoo and moisturizer and transfer just the amount that you need for your trip, or the maximum you can get away with in your carry-on!
Many pots and bottles can count as TSA approved containers. What it really comes down to is that each individual container is no more than 100ml in volume, and isn’t an aerosol.
Aside from that, you’re good to go!
There are few key things to look for that all of the best travel bottle designers have thought of, and there are also a few things to keep in mind about which liquids are suited to which kind of bottle…
What to Look For:
What kinds of products are you going to be putting inside your bottles? Do you need a spray nozzle or do you like pump actions?
There are pros and cons to different lid types and they basically center around how thick your liquid is and how leak-proof it will be.
While button/snap style tops may appear leak-proof, they can easily be pressed against by other things in your luggage while you’re traveling and end up opening.
And nobody wants shampoo all through their things!
Pump action tops are also not ideal for the same reason. Locking mechanisms can work really well but you sometimes have to sacrifice some product in the process.
The best are flip-top lids that snap closed securely and definitely can’t open of their own accord.
I’ll admit, this is a little hard to guarantee until you get the bottles and try them out for yourself. It’s hard to know whether you can take someone else’s word for it.
A good tip is to leave some space in the bottles when you fill them just in case, that way you’re less likely to have some nasty surprises with air pressure changes.
Also, unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to find a bottle that won’t leak with oil inside it. Your best bet is hard plastic with a screw-top lid.
Another great tip is to make sure that your toiletry bag is waterproof so that if anything goes wrong, everything is contained.
Check out my list of the best travel toiletry bags if you’re on the lookout for a new one!
Silicone vs. Plastic
Silicone may be great for some reasons – it is durable and soft, it stays squeezable and won’t go brittle the way plastic might.
There are many kinds of products that you can’t actually put in silicone bottles.
These are any products that contain silicone themselves, or alcohol, salicylic acid, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.
Long story short, they will react and create a mess.
So, while silicone bottles are great for water-based shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers and sunscreen, there are many products like mouthwash, face wash and hair oil that aren’t compatible.
For these products, you’ll need either plastic or glass.
Let’s face it, nobody loves plastic in this day and age, especially now that we know how much of it ends up in the ocean or landfills.
But, if you use them as many times as you can before they start to disintegrate, plastic bottles are better than silicone for some toiletries.
This is pretty important to make refilling and cleaning easy. Make sure you choose bottles where the opening once you’ve taken the whole lid off is as wide as, or almost as wide as the bottle itself.
And, last but not least – if you’re going to be flying with just carry-on baggage, make sure the bottles are all 100ml or less!
There is an excellent range of products of carry-on baggage now. In particular, backpacks designed for carry-on are especially well thought out.
Kitting yourself out with one of the best carry-on backpacks and a set of good quality packing cubes together with any of the travel toiletry bottles above will have you well prepared for your travels.
In particular, there are even some great carry-on bags for women available that will meet all of your travel needs in the airport, on-board and once you’re traveling.
Have you Considered Shampoo Bars?
Solid shampoo and conditioner bars are perfect for traveling in every way.
They won’t leak, they can be carried in a little zip lock bag or wrapped in brown paper or tinfoil, and they last a LOT longer than liquid shampoo.
And, if that’s not all, most good quality shampoo bars are better for you and the environment, as they often don’t contain harmful chemicals or foaming agents.
This means they don’t strip your hair of its protective barrier so you often don’t need to use conditioner, and they’re great for people with sensitive skin. Win!
More excellent tips for packing light and reducing your luggage include:
If you need some more tips on how to pack up your toiletries, there are some great videos online, like this one, for ideas.
What are Travel Size Bottles?
In the broad sense of the term, travel-sized bottles are just smaller versions of regular-sized bottles to make them more convenient, lighter and compact to travel with.
But in the age of cheap carry-on flights, travel-sized also means 100ml or less in volume so that you can pack them in your carry-on luggage.
Are Silicone Travel Bottles Safe?
Absolutely! Provided you don’t use silicone-based liquids, oils, or liquids containing acid or alcohol.
Most silicone travel bottles are made of BPA-free food-grade silicone so you can completely sure that they’re safe to use.
What Size Bottles are TSA Approved?
100ml (3.4 oz.) or less.
How Do You Clean Silicone Travel Bottles?
Some silicone travel bottles are dishwasher safe but if you want to really get inside, it’s probably better to hand wash them with warm water.
You probably don’t need even to add any detergent depending on what you had in there before. A diluted solution of warm water and white vinegar is also a great option.
How Many Bottles Can You Fly With?
This depends on the size of the bottles! You’ll have to do a little math to figure it out. But basically, if you can fit them all in a 1-quart bag then you’re good to go.
Do TSA Bottles Have to be Clear?
No, they don’t. But clear bottles are great from a point of view of being able to see what’s inside and how much you have left.
TSA regulations are purely size related.
Is Toothpaste Considered a Liquid?
Yes! Liquids as far as TSA is concerned also include gels like toothpaste, honey, lip balm, even lipstick.
So there you have it, the best travel toiletry bottles of 2020 and some inside knowledge on traveling with toiletries.
It’s a case of looking for a balance of durability and practicality, but most importantly, whatever you choose must be leak-proof!
Be sure to comment and download my e-book about solo travel safety for more useful tips.
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